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Podcasting Offers New Avenue for Reaching Students, Alumni December 5, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting, University Podcasting.

This is a copy of the article:

Podcasting offers new avenue for reaching students, alumni
Special to the Rice News
Posted on 11/30/2006

Universities, high schools and even elementary schools across the nation are embracing podcasting as another way to interact with students. While podcasting may sound like an exclusive iPod service, it actually is a media distribution tool that can be accessed by anyone with a computer, an Internet connection and the right software. Understanding this technology was the focus of a recent “Teaching with Technology Brown Bag” with presentations from Jeff Frey, manager of Web Services; Carlos Solis, manager of educational technologies; and Lisa Spiro, director of the Digital Media Center.

In its simplest terms, a podcast is a digital recording that can be downloaded from the Internet to a computer or personal audio player. In academic settings, podcasts are being used to share lectures with students to free up more classroom time for interactive discussions, to disseminate research or to supplement course offerings. Duke, Stanford, Purdue and Drexel universities are just a few of the institutions that are offering both their students and the general public access to their courses via podcasts.

Podcasts are not one-time broadcasts but are regularly updated free subscriptions that use “push” technology in that the podcast is delivered to the subscriber when an update is available. Currently, podcasts are either audio only, enhanced (audio plus images) or video-based.

There are many benefits to creating educational podcasts. Students are able to listen to supplemental lectures when it’s most convenient or to replay them. Academics who offer podcasts become part of a virtual classroom — they can reach students enrolled in a course as well as anyone with podcasting software. Universities also are using podcasts to stay in touch with alumni and contributors, for staff development and as an enrollment/recruiting tool.

Any member of the Rice University community can create a podcast with the help of the Digital Media Center (DMC), the Educational Technologies group and Web Services. DMC has portable recording devices, a sound booth and several audio-editing software programs as well as staff who can help produce a podcast. Educational Technologies has a full setup for audio and video recording in the Mudd Building. Web Services will work with future podcasters on planning and promoting a podcast.

For more information, contact Web Services at 713-348-5184 or <http://webservices.rice.edu>, the Digital Media Center at 713-348-3635 or or the media services branch of Educational Technologies.



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